US green-lights delivery of Dutch F-16 jets to Ukraine

US green-lights delivery of Dutch F-16 jets to Ukraine

Welcoming development, Dutch defense minister says: ‘We remain in contact with European partners to decide on next steps’

By Ahmet Gencturk

ATHENS (AA) - The US gave the green light to the Netherlands for the transfer of its F-16 jets to Ukraine, Dutch officials said on Friday.

Welcoming the development on X, formerly known as Twitter, Defense Minister Kajsa Ollogren said: “It allows us to follow through on the training of Ukrainian pilots.”

“We remain in close contact with European partners to decide on the next steps,” she added.

Similarly, Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra thanked his US counterpart Antony Blinken “for the good and swift cooperation” on the matter.

Adding that they will further discuss the issue with the country’s European partners, he said: “This marks a major milestone for Ukraine to defend its people and its country.”

Western nations have continued to support Ukraine with military and financial aid since the country’s war with Russia began last year on Feb. 24. So far, they have been reluctant to send fighter jets to Kyiv.

However, Denmark and the Netherlands have been playing a leading role among Western countries in training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets.

The UK is separately providing Ukrainian pilots with English-language training because the instrumentation and manuals of the aircraft are written in English.

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